Archibald family: high tea in Pittwater
This simple home movie clip captures afternoon tea on board a boat at Pittwater, Sydney in 1932. The skipper sits at the stern, drinks tea from a china teapot and lights a cigarette, looking very pleased with himself.
The wider shots are underexposed, leaving the coastline dark and hard to distinguish.
Summary by Elizabeth Taggart-Speers
Archibald Family: Family Scenes and Outings in Sydney synopsis
This home movie produced by the Archibald family in approximately 1932, features a variety of scenes illustrating their family life. These include beach scenes, a young girl’s birthday party and shots from onboard a boat on Pittwater, Sydney.
Archibald Films is the name accredited to a string of home movies and short films made in the 1920s and 30s by one family, the Archibalds.
Home movie making became possible with the invention of 16mm film in 1923. However it was still an expensive hobby and, as a result, home movies were made by those who could afford to buy a camera. So while collections such as this are only narrowly representative of Australian society it does mean we have insight into one family’s experiences of the period.
As a home movie, it is both a family record and a document reflecting our national identity. Much like a family album, this home movie collection records events over a period of time. From baby shots in the backyard, to outings at the beach.
Filmed with a hand-held camera, much of the editing is 'in camera’ – that is as a result of simply turning the camera on and off.
This home movie collection has suffered from napthalene syndrome – a condition that can cause the film to shrink. The National Film and Sound Archive have preservation wound this film to a tension where the film holds its shape. It is also stored in a cool dry acclimatised vault to help its preservation.
Notes by Elizabeth Taggart-Speers